Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Mar;16(3):925-31.

Human hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 isoforms are encoded by distinct and differentially expressed genes.

Author information

Institut f├╝r Zelbiologie, Universit├Ątsklinikum Essen, Germany.


Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 (HNF4) was first identified as a DNA binding activity in rat liver nuclear extracts. Protein purification had then led to the cDNA cloning of rat HNF4, which was found to be an orphan member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Binding sites for this factor were identified in many tissue-specifically expressed genes, and the protein was found to be essential for early embryonic development in the mouse. We have now isolated cDNAs encoding the human homolog of the rat and mouse HNF4 splice variant HNF4 alpha 2, as well as a previously unknown splice variant of this protein, which we called HNF alpha 4. More importantly, we also cloned a novel HNF4 subtype (HNF4 gamma) derived from a different gene and showed that the genes encoding HNF 4 alpha and HNF4 gamma are located on human chromosomes 20 and 8, respectively. Northern (RNA) blot analysis revealed that HNF4 GAMMA is expressed in the kidney, pancreas, small intestine, testis, and colon but not in the liver, while HNF4 alpha RNA was found in all of these tissues. By cotransfection experiments in C2 and HeLa cells, we showed that HNF4 gamma is significantly less active than HNF4 alpha 2 and that the novel HNF4 alpha splice variant HNF4 alpha 4 has no detectable transactivation potential. Therefore, the differential expression of distinct HNF4 proteins may play a key role in the differential transcriptional regulation of HNF4-dependent genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center